We are proud of Vampiro; this is a prime example of an holistic organic coffee. The farm is 10 Ha of source for wildlife. Animals ranging from; exotic butterflies, amazing big gecko’s, small wolf-like animals and even black mountain cats, visit the farm at night (captured on motion sensor cameras). The farm is located on pristine slopes of the Andes with a nature corridor that connects the farm to the Cauca River.
Finca owner Luis Emilio Vélez allows the wild “Vampiro” bats on his finca to live inside his coffee storage. In the same space as the well double protected coffee bags. He always stores all his coffee on the farm in Grainpro bags.
Finca Cocondo is situated in the municipality of Titiribí, a tiny town high on the rim of a mountain with views of two valleys and the wild Cauca river, the second river of Colombia. For many years it wasn’t safe to cross the river. The other side was guerrilla territory. But now there’s no such problem anymore. The plantation has been developed without harming any of the original vegetation. A walk through the coffee fields, feels more like a pleasant (though steep) forest stroll. Luis Emilio even created an eco-trail, complete with signs, that winds through various lots with different varieties, a spring and even a small fall that he sometimes uses as a shower.
You could almost say Luis Emilio is a freak, but in the positive sense. He does not allow any compromise to produce his characteristic purely organic coffee. He recycles everything and promotes his attitude everywhere he goes. For instance he collects all the plastic wrappers of friends and family, has them stuffed in plastic soda bottles and uses these as bricks to construct buildings on his farm. Finca Cocondo has been producing high quality coffee consistently for several years now, but Luis Emilio keeps experimenting with different varieties and processing methods.
We are organic, no chemicals, we have coffee under the forest, the water sources are all protected just like the basins, we do not hunt, we do not burn and we have been able to register the presence of animals living in extinction, for example tigrillos, we also have hives for bees we take care of them since they are the ones that help pollination and we take the opportunity to collect their honey. - Luis Emilio Velez Aramburo
To receive 100% ripe cherries from the pickers on their farm they are very strict, and pay well about regular prices (almost double towards 1,4 mil pesos), ánd provide the option the buy all of the unripes every Friday for a good price. The wet milling starts in an extremely clean wet milling station. The overseer and “student of coffee” Norbey tells us they use a mouth cap and apron during processing and have a strict cleaning regiment that takes place right after processing. After pulping the coffee is laid down to soak in a greenhouse with ventilators extracting humidity. Temperature are kept to 40 degrees celcius. After bringing down the largest humidity the coffee is brought to a new greenhouse with a drawer system. An intelligent and simple system to make sure all coffees are dried equally. Between the Washed, Honey and Naturals they maintain different fermentation times, and the selection of the process depends on the humidity in the air. They suffer from extreme morning dews, where the humidity from the river is pushed up by the daylight and covers the entire farm. An difficulty they have managed and even used in their advantage. The new addition to the process is the deshydratating machine to make sure the coffee end up at a perfect 9,5% humidity. The beans always soak up a bit more humidity before they get stored in the Greenhouse.
Curiosity: Norbey uses big stones in the greenhouse that warm up during the day and keep the greenhouse on higher temperatures during several hours after the sun goes down.
"Honey coffee is ferment 28 hours in cherry, it is dry pulped leaving a percentage of mucilage for its honey process. The beans are left between 30 - 40 hours of oxidation then they go to the African beds where the process of dehydration or controlled drying begins . Washed lots receive fermentation hours between 14 - 18 hours, aerobic fermentation." - Luis Emilio Velez Aramburo
The Coffee Quest is always in close contact with Luis Emilio to find out how the harvest is turning out. Our aim is to pay high for his quality, off course accepting less complex lots in case of difficulties. A good example are difficult years such as 2019, where they had issues with hail destroying the beans, and opening the door for a beetle borer plague. Luis Emilio might choose to produce the more “safe” Washed and Honey lots, that might score less in terms of Quality.
The Coffee Quest has been working closely with Luis Emilio over the last years. Clients that visit our office in Medellín are often taken to finca Cocondo due to it’s proximity and the amazing feel. Unlike other coffee farms, you sense the respect for nature, you see and hear the flora and fauna that live in cohesion with the coffee trees. the innovative mindset they used for succesful switching from conventional production to organic in 1998, they are now applying to the post-harvest processing. As one of the few Colombian farms are able to provide “niche” quality lots of processes such as Honeys and Naturals. A good example of the mindset is the the use of ventilators and deshydratation machines. Something you don’t see every day.
The garbage is heavy and registered, the leftovers that serve as food for the chickens are given and the others go to a vermiculture, and the recycling is heavy registered and delivered to the recyclers.The love that we put into everything, from the care of nature, to the environment that permeates those flavors that characterize it, in addition to the meticulous care of the benefit and fermentation process, drying storage, rather, the entire process. - Luis Emilio Velez Aramburo
Discover other producers from Colombia...
Hernan Dario Montenegro is one of the farmers from the Santa Maria network that has such good coffee, it must be sold as single farm micro lot. The vibrant sweetness in the coffee stands out!